The SPCA of Northern Nevada is proud to welcome Jill Vacchina Dobbs, J.D. as our new Executive Director. Jill was born and raised in Reno, NV. She graduated with honors from UC-Santa Barbara, worked in the financial services industry, and graduated cum laude from Gonzaga Law School. After graduation, she moved to Truckee, CA where she primarily practiced transactional and nonprofit law.
For the last 10 years Jill served on the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe’s (HSTT) board of directors, with 6 years as Board President. During that time that animal welfare organization blossomed, increasing adoptions over 200%, with tremendous growth in other program areas as well. She cherished her time with HSTT and considers it a leading organization. She looks forward to applying her skills to help the SPCA continue to grow and improve our Adoption Center operations. She will help the SPCA create innovative programs to address the underlying causes of shelter overpopulation, while unifying our region through a love of companion animals.
Like many Northern Nevadans, Jill is an active outdoor enthusiast. She enjoys hiking, skiing, wakeboarding, swimming, cycling and simply playing. She’s married and has a young, imaginative 3-year-old son who constantly entertains her. She also has a 13-year-old rescue mix named Kota, who is one of the loves of Jill’s life. Jill knows she has the greatest job in the world. “As individuals, we have the ability to affect positive change every day. I get to exploit that ability and work hard every day to advocate and fundraise for homeless pets and work with passion-driven people.” She has already noticed that at the SPCA “there is a strong commitment to develop a culture adhering to our values: compassion, integrity, respect, excellence, gratitude, creativity, education and collaboration.”
Sean relocated to the Tahoe Basin in 2009 after 27 years in Southern California. He spent 20 years in the financial services sector, both in the mortgage and insurance industries and in 1998, Sean turned his attention to the non-profit world. He has been the Donor Relations Director for the Community Environmental Council in Santa Barbara, and served as the Executive Director of the Ventura County Junior Golf Association and founded The First Tee Ventura County. After moving to Incline Village, he was the Development and Administrative Director at Lake Tahoe School.
After spending six years working at the Lake Tahoe School, Sean was ready to work with an organization in the city in which he now lives, Reno. He joined the SPCA of Northern Nevada in September of 2015, putting his non-profit fundraising and marketing skills to work as our Development Director. The timing worked out well and he’s very happy to be here helping to save the lives of abandoned dogs and cats.
Sean was first interested in animal welfare and working for the SPCA of Northern Nevada once he learned that over 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized annually in the United States. He’s had pets all his life, (and is especially a dog lover,) so it was an excellent choice for him to start working toward eliminating this terrible social issue.
Married, and with three boys all under the age of 16, Sean’s family keeps him busy! In his free time (when he finds it) Sean is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and loves to take multi-day camping trips on his motorcycle. He also has two standard poodles, Mellie and Murphy, who are amazing dogs. Sean’s family keeps chickens, too! Sean is married to Kate Carter, a school teacher in Washoe County, and Kate and Mellie (their female poodle), are a therapy dog team that volunteers at Renown, does Paws 4 Passengers at the airport, and participate on the crisis response team for WCSD. He’s very proud of them.
Sean believes working at the SPCA is the best job in the world. Every adoption that takes place here is his favorite story and he knows you can’t buy love, but you can adopt it.
With the SPCA since: November 2011
Rena comes to the SPCA as a long time successful entrepreneur who specialized in the manufacturing, selling and education of dental equipment for equine veterinarians.
Rena’s favorite part about working at the SPCA of Northern Nevada is helping mentor employees to become successful and long term additions to SPCA.
When she’s not saving the lives of homeless pets in our community Rena is creating jewelry, riding her motorcycle and playing Frisbee with her SPCA rescue dog, Harley, which are all some of the great passions Rena enjoys.
With the SPCA since: January 2017
Kellie comes to the SPCA with 20 years of non-profit management experience including positions with the State of Nevada, the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation, and North Tahoe Arts.
Kellie loves working at the SPCA because “I feel fortunate to be able to combine my love of working for non-profits with my lifetime love of animals.”
When she is not saving the lives of homeless pets in our community she is cheering on her daughter Lily on the ski race course or her son Henry playing hockey or hanging out by the fire with dog, Timber, and catching up with husband, Jeff, at home in Truckee, CA.
With the SPCA since: October 2014
Before coming to the SPCA, Dusty worked with dogs and their owners with obedience training and behavior modification; she has 3 dog training certifications and enjoys helping people create happier pets!
Dusty enjoys working at the SPCA because the best part about her job is the satisfaction she feels when she gets to be a part of making a person’s day better by finding them the perfect dog, and making the dog’s life better because she got to pull them from a life-threatening situation and find them a forever, loving home.
When she’s not saving the lives of homeless pets in our community she is hopefully on top of a mountain somewhere, with her dogs, enjoying the outdoors and connecting with nature.
With the SPCA since: 2002
Before coming to the SPCA, Natale was a District Trainer for a wholesale food distribution corporation for 5 years. She trained employees from multiple stores spanning from San Francisco down to Monterey. She has a BS in Business Management and minored in Art History from San Jose State University.
Natale’s favorite part of working at the SPCA is rescuing animal lives to save human lives. “I love everything about cats from their different personalities to behaviors. Each cat is unique and each one has a story that I find only we can translate.”
When she’s not saving the lives of homeless pets in our community she is binging on favorite TV shows, writing her novels that will someday get published, and purchasing antique books from all genres.
With the SPCA since: July 2016
Before coming to the SPCA, Brittney worked at a private animal hospital in Las Vegas. Brittney became a Licensed Veterinary Technician in July 2010. She has an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology. Brittney is the proud owner of two huskies, Sugar and Zeus.
Brittney loves working at the SPCA because “I love making sure animals are as healthy as possible, and that their time at the shelter is engaging and fun.”
When not saving the lives of homeless pets in our community, You can find Brittney curled up on her couch with a good book, playing with her children, and baking.
With the SPCA since: August 2015
Before joining the SPCA Thrift Store, Mac was a manager with JCPenney for almost 30 years; he attended the University of Nevada, is a past chairman of our local Secret Witness program, and is a tour guide for the Historic Reno Preservation Society, presenting the downtown church tour and the Grand Army of the Republic cemetery tour during ArTown.
Mac loves working at the SPCA Thrift Store because “It is wonderful to have someone find a great deal at the store. When I had just started, a couple had found a piece of artwork for around $50. They sold it for $600 and donated half to the SPCA. That’s wonderful!”
When he’s not saving the lives of homeless pets in our community, he loves to read – most anything but loves history. Mac has one cat, Linus, who rules the house, a sweet old dog, Lucy, who loves to eat and sleep, and a younger dog, Cooper, who is in everyone’s business all the time. Completing the menagerie are 5 Rhode Island Red chickens who are a joy to watch.
With the SPCA since: June 2013
Mel has had a diverse background leaving her with strong computer and people skills essentially making her a fun loving asset to the organization.
Mel’s favorite part of her job is working with the best volunteers around and being a part of animals finding their forever homes!
When Mel’s not saving the lives of homeless pets in our community she is out camping in the wilderness enjoying nature and mother earth.
With the SPCA since: October 2016
Before coming to the SPCA, Angela worked primarily in marketing and education; she is proud to have a BA in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno and a Social Media Marketing Certificate from UNR’s Extended Studies.
Angela loves working at the SPCA because “I love all the animals we rescue and feel very fortunate to be able to help market them to the public to help them find forever loving homes more quickly.”
When she is not saving the lives of homeless pets in our community you can find Angela on outdoor adventures in and around Lake Tahoe with her dog, Koopa, or with her nose stuck in the latest book for her book club.
With the SPCA since 2015
Before joining the SPCA, Sophia worked primarily in the retail and sales industry.
Sophie loves working at the SPCA because “No matter how much (or how little) I am able to accomplish in a day, I always go home feeling like I have made a difference in the lives of pets and people in my community.”
When she is not saving the lives of homeless pets in our community, Sophie’s home life centers around her six year old son, Finnegan, and their rescue animals Autumn, Patches, and Sadie. The family enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking and swimming, as well as crafting and reading, when we are indoors.